Ben Franchi ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With the arrival of E3 this year, Naughty Dog has graced the gaming world with a new gameplay video for next year’s installment in the Uncharted franchise, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. This time around, we get to see more combat, as well as some interesting new driving mechanics.
The video starts with Uncharted heroes Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan (his friends call him “Sully”) in what appears to be an unknown African city. While the graphics may have given the pair updated appearances, the voices of Nolan North and Richard McGonagle sound as welcomingly familiar as they’ve ever been. As Nate and Sully make their way through a marketplace crowd, they are besieged by armed mercenaries (a recurring habit in Drake’s life) and engage in a firefight. The gunplay this time around seems to be on par with previous games, though there are some tune-ups. The guns sound more powerful and realistic, and even greater effort has been put into the destructible environments, as chunks of stone, wood, and fruit blast about with every stray bullet. One interesting detail is when a grenade is tossed at Nate, there is no prompt to throw it back, a feature added in the previous installment. Time will tell if this feature has been completely removed or merely renovated. A grapple feature also seems to be in place, as at one point Nate is choked by a merc, and the player must rapidly tap the triangle button to escape.
As the gunfight rages on, an armored truck hits the scene, riddling the area with heavy gunfire. Nate and Sully drive out of dodge on a nearby Jeep, which is where the meat of this demo comes into action. While vehicle sequences are hardly new to the Uncharted series, they’ve usually taken an on-rails bent. In this scene, the Jeep looks fully drivable, as Nate drifts and dodges over, under, and through the city streets in order to avoid the armored truck. Judging from the layout of the area, it appears as if there are multiple venues to escape the truck, a variety of paths to be taken, a la escaping the police in Grand Theft Auto. Hopefully this mechanic will be expanded upon further in the game’s final release.
As Nate and Sully drive over hovels, through backyards and over waterways, they trade comic barbs over Drake’s less-than-stellar escape route. The dialogue sounds like classic Uncharted fare, courtesy of Uncharted writer Amy Hennig. As they come across a bridge, a convoy can be seen chasing Sam, a new character who was introduced in the previous Uncharted 4 gameplay video as Drake’s older brother. After pursuing the convoy from underneath the bridge, Drake gets the idea to grapple up on an hanging crane truck (grappling was another new feature introduced in the previous gameplay video) to get closer to Sam. As Drake hangs for dear life from the crane, the camera shows him flying into a wall of planks alongside the bridge before cutting to black, ending the demonstration.
Uncharted 4, from what has been shown, seems to be trying to boost what already makes the games good. With vertical combat, more active environments, and a supposed new driving mechanic, Uncharted 4 looks to be shaping up as a good final installment in the classic franchise.
Watch the gameplay below!